Monday, 2 March 2009

That's more like it daddy-o.

A fine weekends racing has taken place, Gent-Gent (or Onloop Volk,-Nieuwsblad to give it it's official title) turned out to be dead exciting, breaks, crashes and Thor taking the sprint. K-B-K was animated again by Cervelo and whilst Boonan sprinted to a clear-ish victory a more than solid performance from the men in black saw Jez Hunt taking third in a hard fought race. Both Hunt and 2nd place Eisel admitted to being happy with their performances and admitted there wasn't much they could do about Boonies sprint, well who can? Oh, hang on... think his name's Cav.

So a good season start for Cervelo, there seems to be a great team spirit and in that respect they seem to resemble Columbia. No one has owned up to 'loving this team' as yet, but give it time and a little more sun and I'm sure it will happen. Perhaps 'loving the team' is what goes on in those team buses before a race?

The Cervelo Testers smiles were in marked contrast to the down in the dumps, puppy run-over looks of the Lotto boys. Evidently taking their lead from the leader (who as far as we know hasn't had any puppy related misfortune recently) they started the weekend scowling and finished it hiding. Well I assume they finished, I think there are still some MIA. What happened? Where were you?

I distinctly had the feeling that Rabo and Quick Step were looking over their shoulders during the latter stages of both G-G and K-B-K and expecting a Lotto charge. It never meterialised and just begs the annual question about Lotto being a GT or a Classics squad. Yes, yes, I know last years Le Tour must have been counted as a success, but I can't help feeling that something in Lotto just isn't right. Every team has an ethos, be it Classics, Grande Tours, smaller stage races, semi-classics, crits, whatever. It's fine starting up a new team and aiming to hit several high points (Columbia, Cervelo, Garmin etc) but if you inherit a squad you inherit a mentality, a way of thinking and a way of racing, tinker with that any things start to drop off. (well that's my rather odd view anyway).
Not wishing to do them a disservice, but their GT targets look even harder to hit this year and what then? I'd love to see Cadel winning Le Tour and I've no doubt he'll prepare well for it, but come July, sadly, I can't see that happening. I became a bit of an Evans fan last year, he was by far the most interesting interviewee at le Tour and didn't give you any BS, what you saw was what you got, no media / PR spin bollocks, just honest answers to often stupid questions. (and I like dogs as well). And to be honest I thought he rode well, using his brain, which is something some of his detractors clearly didn't do when asking questions or offering opinion on how he rode, still they get paid for their view and I don't, so there you go.

Isn't it about time they (Lotto) gave up any pretense at being able to master both classics and GT's and just concentrated on one? Maybe time to drop a few classic non performers and hire some skinny madmen to help Cadel up in the mountains?

On tenterhooks !

We're looking at the chimney on the roof of the UCI HQ and waiting to see if the smoke is black or white. As yet, nothing, but don't worry, we have been promised an announcement soon.
The UCI have again been talking passports, no not the ones they use to freeload across the globe bringing their smiling beneficiation to the world of cycling, oh no. These passports are the long heralded 'Athlete' passports.
Uncle Pat has said that it's all going to 'kick off' in the coming days and weeks. But then knowing Uncle Pats previous problems with naming times and dates this could mean anytime between yesterday and the year 3001. Still, lets look on the positive side and hope for sooner rather than later.
What the UCI are definite about is that they will be naming names of riders suspected of wrong doing. Although to what extent wrong has been done is not specified, still one thing the UCI are sure about is that the number of riders being investigated is definitely between 'one and six'! Good, glad that's cleared up then.

I suspect the reason for the vagueness comes from a number of reasons, not least waiting to see which riders have expensive lawyers and which ones have selected a name at random from the yellow pages. None the less I'm all for naming names and with the re-re-re-opening of Puerto it promises to be an interesting few months in the 'war'.


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